Scientists from Switzerland have presented devices that can suck in air and purify it from carbon dioxide. It can be stored and used afterward.
The researchers explained that trees absorb carbon dioxide, but this process is lacking. So they presented a device that will help remove excess carbon from the atmosphere.
Scientists this time modernized similar technologies and focused on extracting gas from the air. This is a challenging task because harmful gases in the air are found in much lower concentrations than industrial emissions. But if the technology can be scaled up, it could give humanity the ability to control global pollution levels.
The Swiss firm Climeworks has built several of these plants throughout Europe. Iceland’s new killer whale plant will be the largest in the world when it opens next year and will be capable of removing four million tons of carbon per year. At the same time, Canadian company Carbon Engineering builds a plant capable of removing one million tons of CO2 per year.
These plants use chemical reactions to bind CO2 molecules, pulling them away from other gases in the air. The carbon can then be pumped underground for storage or used with hydrogen to make low-carbon fuels.
In the UK, CO2 will be injected into spent oil and gas fields in the North Sea. Simultaneously, the researchers note that it cannot escape back into the atmosphere, even in the event of an earthquake or volcanic eruption.